What The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health is Doing about COVID-19
- The U.S. Virgin Islands is reinforcing critical public health messaging like symptom-monitoring, infection prevention and ways to avoid the spread of disease into our territory. By following the health department’s guidance, you can keep yourself and your family safe if you come into contact with someone with COVID-19 or other viral respiratory pathogens like the flu.
- The health department is monitoring the health trends in the Virgin Islands community on a daily basis to help identify any possible cases of COVID-19.
- The health department is serving as an expert resource for healthcare providers by providing training and guidance to ensure that providers know what to look for and what actions to take if they suspect COVID-19 in a patient.
- The health department is also serving as an expert resource for the public through education and information-sharing across multiple sectors, and through training several agencies throughout the territory.
- The health department will continue to coordinate the collection of specimens from patients and will submit these specimens to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing of suspected COVID-19 cases.
- The health department will quarantine a patient who tests positive for COVID-19 and determine the patient’s travel history and who they may have had close contact with while sick.
- The department’s Epidemiology division serves as a team of experts who are trained and experienced in tracking and preventing disease spread. They are commonly referred to as “disease detectives.” If they encounter a suspected case that returns positive, they will determine who the patient may have had close contact with while sick. This process is called contact tracing. Persons who may have been exposed would be notified immediately and may be quarantined and observed for symptoms of COVID-19 as an extra measure of precaution.
- The health department has partnered with other local and federal agencies as well as partners in the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The department is continuously preparing for the possibility that COVID-19 may become a global pandemic. The department is committed to ensuring that resources are available and prevention and response plans are solid and tested. By building capacity daily, the department is capable and ready to respond to the global spread of COVID-19. The ultimate goal is to reduce the impact to our territory and to keep Virgin Islanders healthy and safe.